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TMJ Dysfunction/Bruxism

Do you have any of the following TMJ (temporomandibular joint) symptoms?

  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
  • Aching in the jaws or face
  • Tender or painful jaws
  • Pain in one or both jaw joints
  • Trouble chewing and/or pain when chewing
  • Clicking, popping or deviation of the jaw joint when opening or closing
  • Sensation that your bite is “off”
  • Headaches
  • Generalized tooth sensitivity
  • Sore teeth
  • Worn, chipped or cracked teeth

TMJ disorders affect the hinge-like joints that connect the jaw to the skull. A referral to a Facial Pain Specialist may be needed to determine what is causing your symptoms. Causes include: Previous injury or accident, clenching or grinding the teeth (bruxism), or arthritic changes to the jaw joints.

Bruxism (teeth grinding) can cause or aggravate TMJ symptoms. This can happen unconsciously during the day (awake bruxism) or at night (sleep bruxism). This tension and pressure on your teeth and jaws can damage your teeth and stress jaw muscles.

Most TMJ issues do not require surgery. Even if you hear clicking in the joint or feel it while chewing, if there is no pain involved, treatment is usually not needed. If you do feel pain or find you can’t fully use your jaw, your doctor or dentist might recommend other treatments, which most commonly include physical therapy or a bite guard.

In rare cases, patients may develop more severe symptoms that require advanced care including Botox injections, small surgeries around the area, or TMJ surgery to repair damage around the joint or remove and replace the entire joint.

If you have jaw pain, we can help determine the causes or contributing factors, teach you some exercises and recommend an appliance to keep your jaw joints strong and healthy!

A referral to a Facial Pain Specialist may be needed to determine what is causing your symptoms.